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Help on hand to grow and learn about food

Published: Tuesday, 27th November 2018

Pictures show children having fun in the outdoors and learning at the same time as part of the POPS Outdoor Adventure project.

Hundreds of children and adults across Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, including many with special needs, are learning how to grow their own food and cook nutritious meals.

It's all thanks to the Renewi Corporate Social Responsibility Fund which has been developed to support communities around the award-winning waste treatment facility at Manvers.

Eligible projects can apply for up to £3,000 a year if they are within 3.5km (as the crow flies) of the Manvers facility, and up to £1,000 a year if they are further away but still within Barnsley, Doncaster or Rotherham council area.

This year £2,540 went to Great Houghton Village Hall in Barnsley to construct an allotment to run horticulture and mindfulness sessions with children and adults with special needs. They use the produce grown in cook and eat sessions where groups are taught to make the best possible use of food.

Social Eyes, a Rotherham based community group in Rawmarsh for adults with autism and learning difficulties, was awarded £800 to build raised beds for therapeutic horticulture to grow simple food to be used in life skills and meal preparation sessions.

Gateway Church in Barnsley got £760 to work with families in crisis to run cook and eat sessions focusing on good nutrition and healthy food on a budget.

And POPS Outdoor Adventure in Rawmarsh, which aims to improve mental and physical health of young people in the Rotherham area, put £1,000 to good use to plant and grow food to be used in healthy eating sessions, improving life skills and reducing food waste.

POPS Project Leader Adrian Harvey said: "It's been a fab season and the children have really taken a vested interest in gardening and growing their own fruit and veg including apple, plum and pear trees, carrots, cucumber, garlic, kale, broad beans and tomatoes.

"We have also been overwhelmed by support from local allotment owners to pass on their help and advice, which the children have loved!"

Renewi Community Education Liaison Officer, Abi Cox, said: "Our aim is to be a good neighbour and make a positive contribution to the local community. In addition to making more from waste, we want to help improve the communities we serve more broadly by supporting initiatives such as these around Manvers."

Watch out for the launch of the 2019 Renewi Corporate Social Responsibility Fund in the New Year.

Funding is available for a range of environmental projects that will benefit the broader community and the maximum number of people.